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This is an MSN conversation about the ASHAB-I SAFINA (People of the Ship) mentioned in the Commentary of Qur’an written by Elmalili Hamdi Yazir Efendi (k.s). I thought it is a useful conversation to include in our website for those who are new to Islam.
22nd of February, 2012
Barbaros Sert


Barbaros says: (7:54:17 PM)

Dear Colleen, we shall look at a verse from the Qur’an today inshaallah.
This is a verse in surah Al Bakara (2/121). Allahu Dhul Jalal is saying:
الَّذِينَ آتَيْنَاهُمُ الْكِتَابَ يَتْلُونَهُ حَقَّ تِلاَوَتِهِ أُوْلَـئِكَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِهِ وَمن يَكْفُرْ بِهِ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ
“Those unto whom We have given the Scripture, who read it with the right reading, those believe in it. And whoso disbelieveth in it, those are they who are the losers.” [Al-Baqara, (2/121)]

Barbaros says: (7:54:45 PM)
We see here that those who were given scripture are not to sing it like a song, not to take the scripture lightly. They should read the scripture in awe, in deep respect by showing so much care and attention to its lines. Colleen, do you see in this verse saying
“who read it with the right reading, those believe in it”

Colleen says: (8:01:23 PM)
Barbaros says: (8:01:24 PM)
Believe in what?
Colleen says: (8:01:36 PM)
Barbaros says: (8:01:48 PM)
who are those given the scripture ?
Colleen says: (8:02:39 PM)
you are asking who is the audience for the scripture?
Barbaros says: (8:03:01 PM)
Those unto whom We have given the Scripture, who read it with the right reading, those believe in it.
Barbaros says: (8:03:13 PM)
What scripture !
Colleen says: (8:03:16 PM)
there is no limit to who can access…OH!
I misunderstood your question I think
Barbaros says: (8:03:45 PM)
Think again
Colleen says: (8:03:57 PM)
Barbaros says: (8:03:59 PM)
“Those unto whom We have given the Scripture”
to who and what scripture?
Colleen says: (8:04:23 PM)
well… ALLAH has been communicating with people from the beginning
Colleen says: (8:05:47 PM)
anyone who has been told about Quran, I would think
Barbaros says: (8:06:09 PM)
Who : Christians, Jews etc.
Colleen says: (8:06:14 PM)
yes, people of the book
Barbaros says: (8:06:20 PM)
Yes. Scripture : Bible, Torah etc.
Barbaros says: (8:06:41 PM)
Now. “Those unto whom We have given the Scripture, who read it with the right reading, those believe in it. ” . What is it that they read?
Colleen says: (8:07:07 PM)
holy books
Barbaros says: (8:07:15 PM)
what is it? It is singular!
Colleen says: (8:07:24 PM)
Barbaros says: (8:08:15 PM)
Colleen. Rasulullah saws is getting revelation. He is surrounded with Jews, Christians , pagans and all sorts of people. He is explaining these revelations to the public.
Colleen says: (8:08:53 PM)
Hmmm. Question! If possible.
Colleen says: (8:10:45 PM)
I wonder if the people have been given right information from the beginning, but over time and generations that information is misunderstood, corrupted, etc, so the religion has not been practiced by these people properly after a passage of time? or am I misunderstanding something?
Barbaros says: (8:12:43 PM)
What you said is true but I am not asking about this. What I am saying is . Allah says in this verse: “Those unto whom We have given the Scripture, who read it with the right reading, those believe in it. ” read what and what do they believe in?
Colleen says: (8:13:27 PM)
read the revelation, I would think
Barbaros says: (8:13:33 PM)
Yes that is the right answer. “those believe in it. ” means that they believe in the word of Allah revealed to mankind by means of Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam. Rasul -i Akram is explaining the verses of the Qur’an to the people, and there are people of the book around him as well and some of them believe in the revelation in the Qur’an. They are respecting the ayats (verses) of the Qur’an. They are showing deep respect by thinking that they are really coming from God to us via Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam. They think and ponder over it, contemplate over it and say: this is surely from our Lord (Rabb). They are the ones who believe in it. They believe in the “Wahy”. Those who are the people of the book. Some of them are those who respect the Qur’an which is being brought in to your heart and they hold it with esteem and believe in it. That is what this verse is saying to us.
Barbaros says: (8:20:51 PM)
Now. Lets have a look in to the commentary of Elmalili Hamdi Yazir Efendi (k.s).
Colleen says: (8:21:17 PM)
Barbaros says: (8:21:22 PM)
InshaALLAH. He is mentioning in his commentary that this verse was sent down for those who are the believers in Christian and Jew groups like in the example of Abdullah Bin Salam who was a Jewish Rabbi. You see Colleen! Abdullah Bin Salam was one of these people. Who was he?

It is narrated that he said the following: “When I heard of the appearance of the Messenger of God I began to make enquiries about his name, his genealogy, his characteristics, his time and place and I began to compare this information with what is contained in our books. From these enquiries, I became convinced about the authenticity of his prophethood and I affirmed the truth of his mission.”
Barbaros says: (8:23:45 PM)
Elmalili mentions in his commentary that people like in the example of “Ashabi Safina ( People of the ship)” were also included within this verse. They were 32 Abysinians and 8 priests from Damascus.
Colleen says: (8:25:00 PM)
Question please!. I’ve heard of people of the book but not people of the ship.. What is this?
Barbaros says: (8:26:00 PM)
When Rasulullah s.a.w.s was announced to the world, people were expecting a prophet to come already. Jewish people were expecting an Akhir Time prophet. Prophet Ibrahim a.s was married to HaJaR a.s and He had a son called Ismail (ishmael).He also had a son from his first wife Sarah and his name was Ishak (Isac) peace be upon him and Yaqub a.s (Jacob) was Prophet Ishak’s son. Yaqub a.s is also called Israel. Jews were expecting this prophet from the generation of Yaqub alaihis salam. However this prophet appeared in the generation of Ismail (ishmael) alaihis salam. Elmalili Hamdi Yazir (k.s) mentions this in his commentary for the verse 124 of Surah Al-Baqara. Because in that verse, there is a sign pointing to that direction:

وَإِذِ ابْتَلَى إِبْرَاهِيمَ رَبُّهُ بِكَلِمَاتٍ فَأَتَمَّهُنَّ قَالَ إِنِّي جَاعِلُكَ لِلنَّاسِ إِمَامًا قَالَ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِي قَالَ لاَ يَنَالُ عَهْدِي الظَّالِمِينَ

“And (remember) when his Lord tried Abraham with (His) commands, and he fulfilled them, He said: Lo! I have appointed thee a leader for mankind. (Abraham) said: And of my offspring (will there be leaders)? He said: My covenant includeth not wrong-doers.” [ Al-Baqara, (2/124) ]
Barbaros says: (8:31:52 PM)
Ibrahim a.s here is saying: “And also (Imams) from my offspring!”But Allah is saying:
“But my promise is not within the reach of evildoers” in this ayat
Because the people of the book were killing their prophets which can be seen along their history and they last attempted to do this to Jesus. When Jews had seen that a prophet had appeared in Arabia, they did not like this because they were expecting him to be from the branch of Yaqub a.s.
Colleen says: (8:36:06 PM)
Barbaros says: (8:36:07 PM)
But Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam was from the branch of Ismail alaihis salaam.
But those who were sincere in religion were hearing the news that a prophet had appeared in Arabia. People from many nations had come from thousands of miles distance. They were travelling to Arabia to see him. Those who the history explains to us as the Ashabi Safina (people of the ship) were 32 Absyinian and 8 Damascus priests. They were a group of people like that, who had come to see the akhir time prophet, Rasulullah sallallahu alaihi wa sallam. They are commemorated as the people of the ship (Ashab-i Safina). They are the ones who are like the people getting on Noah’s ark to come to safety in this life.
Barbaros says: (8:39:08 PM)
Do you understand it now?
Colleen says: (8:39:13 PM)
yes, thank you
Barbaros says: (8:39:25 PM)
Now we can give many example life stories like this. One of the most important ones
is Salman-i Farisi (Salman of Persia). He was a person like this Dear Colleen.
Who was he? Salman the Persian was born with the Persian name Rouzbeh, either in the city of Kazerun in Fars Province, or Isfahan in Isfahan Province, Iran. Salman (r.a) was a
Zoroastrian.It is narrated that his father was a nobel man and rich. They had christian slaves. He was learning about God from the Christian slaves and he wanted to be Christian. He explained this to his father but his father did not show sympathy to him and chained him home. He had help from the slaves and escaped from home. His short story makes me cry.
Colleen says: (8:46:35 PM)
Barbaros says: (8:46:37 PM)
He suffered alot
Colleen says: (8:46:40 PM)
I can see why
Barbaros says: (8:47:02 PM)
He went to Damascus and found a monk and learned knowledge in Christianity. He lived and learned from him for years and he travelled and learned from various people like this. Salman saw that men of knowledge were dieing one by one and the new priests coming were cheating on public and had no knowledge.He took the advice of the old priest telling him about an akhir time prophet who will appear soon and seek for him. How do they know this ? Some verses in John etc foretelling about the coming of the prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wa sallam e.g. Paraklit (spirit of the truth). Who is paraklit? Rasulullah s.a.w.s, of course! Salman (r.a) travels to Arabia but on the way he is captured by the slave traders!
Colleen says: (8:52:14 PM)
Barbaros says: (8:52:15 PM)
He was sold 9 times! He served them as a slave. It is narrated that he was on a date or palm tree and his owner was below speaking with someone about the coming of the Prophet and he was so excited about hearing this. He escaped from his owner and went to patrol the area where disciples of the Rasulullah s.a.w.s was. He asked them about the prophet. But he wanted to test the Prophet s.a.w.s to see if he is bearing the signs which were said to him by the Christian priest in Amuriya. The sign of that prophet is “he will not accept alms from the people but he will accept gifts, and he has a seal of prophethood between his shoulders”. When Salman (r.a) comes, he finds the Prophet s.a.w.s and tries to give him some dates but the prophet says he does not accept alms then Salman (r.a) offers them as gift. In that case, Rasulullah s.a.w.s accepts and distributes them to the people. He follows the prophet and the Prophet realizes that he is following him. He brings his cloth down to his shoulder blades and his seal of Prophethood is seen as black between his shoulders then Salman becomes a muslim there. However his owner wants him back
and the prophet buys him from his owner and frees him. He spends the rest of his life with Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam. He used to live in very poor conditions. He used to rest under the trees like our Crazy Hasan Baba of Derbent , learning deep knowledge from Rasulullah s.a.w.s. When he died he left only 10 dirhams money behind
him and he was feeling upset that he left so much although that money was nothing at that time. You see Colleen. These are the people mentioned in that ayat.
Colleen says: (9:12:53 PM)
Barbaros says: (9:13:00 PM)
And those who are like Salman-i Farisi (r.a) today!..
Let this be an example for you !

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  • d.dubrule

    beautiful form of exchange…)))…djazakallah khaiyraan duste djaan…
    to present the faith of Allah on his simple form is the way of Rasul Allah (sawa)…struggling to bring to each what would fit in…following the caracteristics of each…by natural divine wisdom!!!! bah bah
    The conscience of what is The Holly Kor’aan…the sensible understanding of His source…and the recepient…followed by the understanding of the inner meaning of it is again the way of Mohammed (sawa)…after the death of the prophet (sawa).a man came to Aisha (as) asking to be teached of Islaam…she gave him 5 ayaats (verses) …the man estonished did asked if it was all???…Aicha (as) did answerd..”: study these 5 ayaats,understand them,know them…and come back,I will give you 5 others!!!…The prophet gave the Kor’aan to his people ayaat by ayaat…with sometimes period of nothing,till he was close to doubt…Allah sobhana wa ta’ala in His absolute Mercy knows what the man can…and cannot…Yaa Allyye shokr!!! wa assalaam ))) dear Barbaros and Colleen,what a joy to find you here ))))))